Upcycled Fashion

Custom-Made Clothing: Hoi An’s Best Tailors to Personalise Your Wardrobe

ashion is about dressing according to what's fashionable. Style is more about being yourself - Oscar de la Renta


Unless you are planning on investing in one of Hoi An’s more notable tailors (Be Be, Yaly, or for boys that like to get the feels over their tailoring experience; Mr Xe), getting something ‘tailored’ in Hoi An can make for a very mediocre experience.
For most, the troubles begin before you even step into the tailor, when offered carte blanche to get absolutely anything run up, it can be hard to be realistic with your expectations (knowing the difference between what something looks like on a model’s body versus your own proportions is key). Remember, even the world’s best tailor is going to struggle to transform you into Kate Moss.

However, the world of custom tailoring offers far more than suturing a new wardrobe from scratch.  

If you can’t find what you want, upcycle 

We all enjoy being on trend and having that “it item,” is today’s obsession with fast fashion - a world where we wear what we want right now until we find the next hot piece and move on.  But if you’re looking for longevity and one-of-a-kind pieces then perhaps it’s time to delve into the back of your wardrobe and pull out the forgotten garments you just couldn’t throw away, then make use of the tailors alteration skills to give them a new lease of life.
Welcome to the world of custom tailored upcycling!


general tips for your trip to the tailor:

  • Consider your haul carefully. If you’ve you’ve gained several inches since you last rocked that Alexander McQueen number, check the seams to see if there is enough fabric to let out. If not, a good tailor can add fabric panels but you may well struggle to find an exact match in Hoi An, in this case it’s worth considering buying the fabric back home.

  • Choose the best tailor you can afford. Alterations are generally going to be far cheaper than going full out on a new garment, but there’s little to be gained by taking the cheap Charlie route; especially if you need accessories like buttons, zips or fasteners that will last longer than the flight back home.

  • Always listen to your tailor: some work-around’s like adding spandex or a lace-up closure might seem like the perfect solution to a sizing problem, but your tailor may have a far better alternative.

  • If you plan on going the full nine yards and bringing your own fabric (or sourcing it from a wholesaler in Hoi An - read below), buy more fabric than you think you need.

  • There is a reason that the best tailors in Hoi An import and stock their own fabrics. This is because the wholesalers in Hoi An are dreadful - cheap spandex, dated patterns and ‘cottons’ that melt when held over a lighter are likely the best you’ll get here. Our most trusted go to is the fully stocked, air-conditioned oasis (with beer garden), Be Be on Hoang Dieu, near the market.

  • We’ve rarely tested this out before (two words, Cargo’s cakes) but when having a garment taken in, make sure your tailor does not cut the fabric. This means that future adjustments can be made (the extra can easily be stashed in the seams).


At the tailors

  • Avoid wearing heavy or baggy clothing to fittings

  • Make sure to wear the underwear you would wear with that particular piece to ensure that it fits and looks right

  • Wear the shoes you would wear with that garment so that your length measurements are accurate

  • Be honest during fittings! It is much harder to change later on once garments have been stitched together and completed

  • Give yourself time for two or three fittings

  • Know what you want and stand by it, but be open to expert advice

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